Now that you have invested time and money in purchasing your violin, it is important to take good care of your instrument so that it continues to perform well and even appreciate in value over the years. What are the areas you need to take note of to ensure your violin is in tip top condition? Here are some pointers.
1. Ensure that your violin is not exposed to the elements
Violins are organic as it is made from wood and held together with glue. As such, any adverse change in temperature or exposure to harsh elements will damage your instrument. If you live in a temperate country, do not leave your violin in the car in the heat. This will cause the instrument to crack or come apart. Similarly, exposure to extreme cold will damage the instrument.
When transporting your violin in the car, do not leave it in the car boot. You are better off with the violin in the passenger seat since the car boot temperature can get very extreme.
2. Clean you instrument frequently
Since violin bow needs to be rosin before playing, dust will collect on the fingerboard and top of the violin. You need to wipe off this rosin dust from your instrument after each play, with a soft cloth. This is to ensure the dust does not accumulate. Rosin dust contains chemicals which will damage your instrument if not removed timely. If you do not wipe clean your instrument regularly, you may need to seek professional luthier's help in removing the thick layer of rosin dust later on.
In addition, clean the rosin dust from the violin strings as clean strings vibrate much better. They also last longer if taken care of.
3. Invest in a good violin case
Since you have sent time and money on a good quality instrument, it makes sense to invest in a good violin case that can protect your valued instrument. A good case not only stores your violin safely, it also keeps your violin bow safe and is water and air tight. Always keep your instrument in its case when it is not being played.
4. Handle your violin with care
Always hold your violin firmly by the neck. If you drop your instrument by accident, your violin may be damaged by the impact and cracks may appear. You will then need to engage the services of a professionally trained luthier to repair your violin.
The other frequent "accident" which happens is when you attempt to close your violin case with your shoulder rest still attached to your violin. I have seen many cases of violins bought in for repair due to this. As such, always make it a point to remove the shoulder rest before placing your violin in its case.
Finally, your violin will need maintenance and repair from time to time. It is recommended that you engage the services of a luthier to service your violin once a year, to adjust the tone of the instrument and clean it thoroughly. Ensure that you get a qualified luthier to service your instrument so you keep you violin in good condition over the years.